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There are an incredible amount of organizations doing important work right now, and it can feel overwhelming to figure out where to direct your immediate attention. In the spirit of helping you gradually digest your options, and in hopes of potentially introducing you to some causes you might not have heard about yet, we’re briefing you on 5 initiatives to consider each week; while donating is not (and should not be) the only way to affect positive change, it is a 100% helpful practice if you have the means, and is a great habit to get into year-round.

Here are 5 places we suggested last week, and below are 5 more to consider this week:

SMYAL

This is a local organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ youth in the DC Metropolitan area by providing leadership development opportunities, after-school programs, transitional housing and counseling services. LGBTQ+ youth involved in the program are able to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy opportunities extended by SMYAL.

Black Techno Matters

This is a community space whose aim is to encourage and expand the Black experience in techno, reclaiming a scene that wouldn’t even exist in the first place were it not for Black artists in Detroit. To help them celebrate the Black roots of techno, donate via Venmo to fund future live music events, workshops and seminars. (Also, get on the email list here.)

Ruth Ellis Center

Ruth Ellis was a Detroit legend; she was recognized as the oldest surviving out lesbian and LGBT rights activist, living until the age of 101, and her work inspired the Ruth Ellis Center to open in 1999. REC focuses on trauma-informed services for LGBTQ+ youth, and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of color who are experiencing homelessness, are involved in the child welfare system and/or are experiencing barriers to health and well-being. They offer a variety of services including outreach and safety-net services, skill-building workshops, HIV prevention programs and more in hopes of building a better, safer and more equitable future for the LGBTQ+ community. Donate, and also check out the organization’s podcast here.

Trans Justice Funding Project

This is a community-led funding initiative that supports grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. Every penny they receive goes to grantees, and centered areas of focus include trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration and other intersecting oppressions. The application process is quick and simple so the selected organizations can get down to work, so make a donation to speed up the process even further.

The Okra Project

The Okra Project addresses food insecurity by paying Black trans chefs to visit the homes of Black trans people and cook them healthy, culturally-specific home-cooked meals at no cost. In instances where individuals are experiencing homelessness or can’t accommodate a chef’s visit in-home, the organization partners with institutions like Osborne Association and other community spaces to deliver foods. Additionally, they launched mental health funds in honor of Tony McDade and Nina Pop that will provide free therapy sessions for Black transgender individuals, so consider donating to that cause as well.

Where have you been donating lately? Is there someplace close to your heart that you’d like us to talk about? Email [email protected] to get in touch.

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